Robert Smithson: Time Crystals is the first exhibition in Australia dedicated to the work of American artist Robert Smithson (1938–1973). Best known for his radical land art of the 1960s and early 1970s, Smithson is now widely recognised as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Inspired by ideas of crystalline geometry and non-biological time, he redefined abstraction and challenged art history, declaring that ‘Nature gives way to the incalculable cycles of nonduration.’
Featuring new research on the artist’s practice, Time Crystals presents sculpture, photography, film, drawings and texts borrowed from major Australian and international collections. It also includes the most extensive display of Smithson’s manuscript and archival material to date drawn from the Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt Papers at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art.
Curators: Dr Amelia Barikin (The University of Queensland) and Professor Chris McAuliffe (Australian National University)
Saturday, 10 March, 2018 to Sunday, 5 August, 2018
James Tylor Unresettling (Stone Tidal Fish Trap) 2016
from the series 'Unresettling (Hauntings)'
hand-coloured digital print on paper, edition 2/5
41 x 41 cm
Collection of the University of Queensland, purchased 2017.
Reproduced courtesy of the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne.
Photo: Carl Warner
Taking as its point of departure Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Wrapped Coast 1968–1969, in site: process, performance, documentation juxtaposes Australian experimental art practice from the 1960s and 1970s with more recent artworks that explore related ideas. Performative, site-specific or conceptually based, many of the works engage with the landscape through documented interventions that connect to environmental, political, or artistic concerns.
Included are photographic series such as Tim Johnson’s ‘Fittings, Megalong Valley’ 1971 and James Tylor’s ‘Unresettling (Hauntings)’ 2016, Bonita Ely’s etching Life is full of situations 1978, and Robert MacPherson’s installed series of cut wash tubs GILGAI: RAIN, AND SIX KINDS OF RAIN, SEVEN FROG POEMS FOR CLEMENT WRAGGE 1990–1991. The exhibition responds thematically to Robert Smithson: Time Crystals, which will be displayed concurrently in the entry-level galleries.
DAVE HULLFISH BAILEY | IAN BURN | TIM BURNS | CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE | NICI CUMPSTON | BONITA ELY | ANNE FERRAN | SHAUN GLADWELL | CLAIRE HEALY AND SEAN CORDEIRO | TIM JOHNSON | ROSEMARY LAING | ROBERT MACPHERSON | CLIVE MURRAY-WHITE | GLEN O’MALLEY | MIKE PARR | TIM SILVER | DARREN SIWES | JAMES TYLOR